Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Easter plans

We get an extra long Easter break this year, and I have plans to achieve great things, including:

  • Lots of cuddles with the wee birthday Bear and quality time with Daughter1

  • Lots of cuddles with ma minette and quality time with Daughter2

  • Seam my purple cardi – a marinating, almost finished WIP which should have been my cardi for last winter (or was it the one before?) – it would be great to have it ready to wear this winter

  • Finish Nutkins – I'm up to heel on sock 2, so it is within the realms of possiblity to get it finished

  • Finish current beret – currently about half way there

  • Make a bit of progress on my Tangled Yoke which is supposed to be my new cardi for this winter (ahem)

  • Sew a top – I'm trying out a new pattern with stash fabric to see if it suits – I’m hoping the pattern is a winner, and just right for under a cardi for my winter work wardrobe – that is, if I ever get any cardies finished

Also on the list:

  • Avoid chocolate

  • Bake some Easter bread (any recommendations for a great recipe for something special?)

  • Lunch and spin with my lovely spinny friends

  • Listen to Juliet Stevenson read Charlotte Bronte’s sumptuous words in Jane Eyre

  • Start watching The Tudors from the very beginning

  • Enjoy the autumn sunshine on bushwalks with the dogs

Hmmm, it’s only 5 days off work. I wonder how much I will get done?

What are your Easter plans?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Fun with colour

Some two years ago, several intrepid Canberra knitters motored up the highway to Waratah Fibres for a yarn dyeing workshop. It was a great day and I was enthused, if not very good at it. I bought some dye, came home and duly put away the notes and the dye. It all seemed a little too hard, somehow. On my last couple of trips to the States, I have brought back Kool Aid, with the intention of dabbling in dyeing. Apparently, it is a good acid dye for animal fibres (and I can't believe that anyone would ever really drink that stuff. It stinks!). I thought it would be safe and fun and a bit unpredictable. It is all three.

Avert your eyes now, if you can only look at beautiful saturated colours. In fact, you might want to go over here instead.

If you're still with me, I'll share my first dyeing experiments with you.

It's hard to know why I have this awful pink and orange fake fair isle in my stash. I love Patonyle, but whatever I thought I was going to do with four balls of this is beyond me.

Dye it blue, perhaps? Still it looks a little clownish.
Knitted into socks for little Bear? Gorgeous, no?
There is a group over on Ravelry that has inspired me to experiment a little. Not necesarily successfully, but it is fun nonetheless. One challenge was to try gradient dyeing. These are my results - subtle, I think, yet not too bad.
Another challenge was to take a lucky dip of three sachets of Kool Aid and use them, no matter what. So I lucky dipped a red, a purple, and oh no another red. A little crazy, not very saturated, but might make very cool socks or mittems for ma minette.I'll keep trying. I'll never aspire to be expert, but I can have a little fun in the meantime.

Wrapped in love

I'm a slow knitter. I knit often, I love knitting, and I produce the goods occasionally. Some items have special love knit into them, like the Love Socks for my favourite sister - now finished, posted (a little late for the relevant birthday), received and loved (foot hugs, she called them). They're the best I can do in the hugging department just now, as she is so far away, and feeling sad. Also, for the new wee one coming into our family in July, a new blankie. The pattern is Vortex Shawl and it is made with beautiful soft merino, cashmere, nylon blend sock yarn, expertly and gorgeously hand dyed by my friend Carrie over at Fibrewebs.
Even though he will be a Queensland baby, I figure that it does get a bit cooler there through winter, and this is the best I can do to wrap him in love when I am not there myself.
Sentimental? Moi?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Slow stitching

Inspired and helped by Michelle, I have started a little collection of hand embroidered onesies for the new wee people who will join our family this year. First off the embroidery hoop is this little fellow. It has been a while since I did any hand stitching like this. How is it that something requiring (from me) such concentration and care can be so soothing.